Altered Jazz Chords (Podcast Episode #39)

Posted by: JAZZEDGE on July 20, 2021

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00:05 Hey guys, Willie Myette, creator of jazz edge Welcome to Episode 39 of the confident improviser podcast. Today we are going to be talking about altered jazz chords, I like to send a thank you out to Deborah for requesting this lesson. And if you would have a podcast episode that you'd like to see, just go back to the competent improviser.com slash survey. And you could go ahead and fill out that quick survey. And maybe I will answer your question on the next episode of the podcast. So Also be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel. That way you can get updates and you can watch this lesson right on YouTube or in the jazz edge members area. Alright, so let's dig in here. So if we take a look, first of all let's let's talk about what an altered chord is, in altered chord is on a dominant seventh chord. So typically when we talk about altered chords, we're typically talking about dominant seventh chords, right. And then typically, an alteration is a lot of times you're altering the nine and the 13. But in reality, in altered chord is anytime you have a chord with any alteration of your attentions, so if you have like flat nine in there, you could call that an altered chord. If you have flat 13 in there, you can call that an altered chord as well. But like I said, oftentimes we will use it to talk about with a flat nine, flat 13, flat nine, sharp 11, stuff like that. Alright, so anyway, let me give you a couple of different examples here, because it'll be probably easiest for you to be able to understand that by seeing these examples. Alright, so I'm taking two different examples here, one from the days of wine and roses, and the other one from misty, these are taken right from my standards by the dozen course. So if you're interested in these songs, you want to dive into them more and take some of these techniques, then check out the standards by the dozen course. Alright, so here, this is just a very simple first line of days of wine and roses, wood shelves, we got this. 02:13 Alright, so just very simple shells in the left hand root seven, root three. Now let's take a look at this D seven chord right here. So the first thing you're going to notice that we're going to do here on the D seven chord is we fill it out in the left hand by adding in the seven, before we were just playing the third, now we're playing the root, the three and the seven. Right? Now the reason that I played the root, the third and the seventh is that that gives me all the notes that I need right there, I really don't need any other notes in my chord. To make that D seven chord sound of the root, I got the third, the F sharp, C is the seventh. That gives me that D seven chord sound in the right hand, the melody note is C which happens to be the seventh of the chord. And what I'm doing is I'm voicing down the nine and the five. So I get this voicing great sounding dominant seventh chord voicing. There's a couple of ways in which you can look at this, you could look at it as root three, seven in the left hand, and then 957 in the right hand. You could also think of it as root three, seven, in the left hand, a root three, seven chord shell, and then a minor triad built on the fifth, you say that this isn't a minor triad. So if you were to double that e up here, get a real nice big sound, minor triad and a minor triad on top of that D seven chord. And now what this really gives me this D seven, flat nine up here is really kind of incorrect. It's really a D seven 913 chord or just a D seven chord, we would call it right, I kept the flat nine in the chord symbols because I want to show you that's what the original chord symbol was. Keep that in. Alright, so this D seven chord, I typically just call it a nine chord or a 13th chord, or in my case, I would just call it a D seven chord because I'm typically going to add in nine and 13 naturally as a jazz musician. Alright, now this one right here, the D seven alter, let's take a look at this one. Now you'll see that there are an alteration of the A and the E. So the nine and the 13. I'm flattening the nine and I'm flattening the 13. Now I get this sound. Great sound. So there's my D seven altered, right? Now let's talk about what's going on here. First of all, left hand, exactly the same thing, root three, seven in the left hand. Okay, so I got my basic dominant seventh chord, voicing notes all set in the left hand. In the right hand. I played a flat eight Flat, and C. Now before we go any further, we have to remember that we always have to pay attention to the melody right? All of this stuff has to work with the melody. Because if it doesn't work with the melody, well, that's not going to be any good when we're playing the melody, we don't want any of these tensions to rub up against the melody. For instance, let's say that I wanted to add in. Oh, you don't forgive me, I was saying 913 and a D seven court, I was incorrect, but that that's nine and five, nine and five. All right, so not nine and 13. So a lot of times, I would just call this a D seven chord, not a D 713. So my apologies. On that D seven chord though, let's say I did put in the 13th there and the melody notice see here that it just runs it's no good. So in this case, I put in sharp 11 and flat nine. And I get a real nice sound here. Now, this is what we call an upper structure triads. And a lot of times we just abbreviate that abbreviate that as u, s, t, upper structure triad, a US. So this D seven chord, right, is, has a root three, seven in the left hand, and in the right hand, what's going on, it is a flat, it's a major chord built on the flat five, or built on the sharp 11. However, you want to look at it, right? So you see how we have this major triad, built on a flat, 06:33 real nice sound. Now, A flat major triad, do we have to do it in an inversion like that we don't, but a lot of times those upper structure triads, we played them in inversions, we don't play them position. But see what what can happen here is I can also double the bottom note here. And I have in the left hand D, F sharp, C, in the right hand, I have E flat, a flat, C, E flat. Right, so what happens to my plate? Right real nice sound. Oops, sorry. Great sound on that voice. Right now Typically, what we would do is we would play that altered scale over that voicing and this D altered scale is your D altered scale, same thing as an E flat melodic minor scale, ascending, alright, so d altered scale. Alright, so now let's move on to our next example. All right, let's take a look now at misty. So if I just play it just real simple what we have here. So this is just my NIS t playing with chord shows root three chord shown for the for the E flat, that route seven and route seven for the B flat and E flat. Now let's take a look at what's happening on this E flat seven chord we have from the B flat, real nice sound. Now I added the third in the left hand, even though I just wrote it as root seven in the left hand. Listen, what happens if I played just as root seven in the left hand. sounds fine root seven in the left hand because I already have the third in the right hand, but if I want to fill it out a little bit more, I can double that third in the left hand. So let's talk about what notes we have here. So left hand, root seven, E flat and D flat, right here we have e natural, G, natural, and C. Okay, so E, G, and C to C major triad, right in first inversion. And that gives me my flat nine on E, that gives you my third and it gives you my 13 on the E flat, so the E natural is flat nine on my E flat seven chord, the C natural is my 13th. This creates an altered chord voicings sounds okay, and it works perfectly along with that 09:16 melody. I could add the third to the left hand if I want to fill it out a little bit. 09:30 So again, versus this so you can hear how adding in those tensions really add some very nice spice to your arranging. So when do we utilize those altered chords? Well, like I said, you can use them over any of your dominant seventh chords. So anytime you see a dominant seventh chord, you could try putting in flat nine, try putting in sharp nine, try putting in flat nine flat 13. So let me give you a couple of different voicings, I don't have them written down, but I'll just play them for you and kind of explain them to you just real quick. These are some real nice upper structure triad chord voicings, right, so I'm going to just go back to C seven, just to make it simple for you. I'm playing C, E, and B flat in the left hand, just a basic root three, seven, C seven chord voicing in the right hand. Let's start with an upper structure triads built on the night. This is built on on D. So I have D, F, sharp and ng, excuse me, an altar court of swords. Like I said, I typically think of ultra cores, as anytime you're altering the nine, the flat nine sharp nine, okay, so if the flat nine sharp nine core and you're doing something like that, then I think of it as an ultra core. If it's a natural nine chord, it just has a sharp 11. I don't think of that as an all or I just think of that as a C seven sharp 11 chord right. Now, like I said, this is in root position, this D major triad, we can play at root position, it's not like we have to completely avoid repetition, but a lot of times we'll do it in some type of an inversion, okay? But in this case, it sounds really nice playing at root position. Okay, so building building on the nine, okay, major triad built on the nine, D major triad. Sounds great gives me a C seven sharp 11. Another one that I really enjoy is built on the sharp four, a minor seven chord built on the sharp four. So this is an F sharp minor chord, okay, F sharp minor triad. So it's F sharp, a natural C sharp, okay. second inversion here with D flat, F sharp, and a, that gives me my flat nine, sharp 1113. As we've already seen before, we can also do a major triad built on that sharp 11, that gives me this flat nine, sharp 11, flat seven, right, so this is an F sharp major triad. So that's a C sharp right there, that's an F sharp right here. And that's an A sharp, okay, or you could think of it as B flat, right? So however you want to think of that it's fine. But the point is, you're going to flat nine sharp 11 and a flat seven in the right hand. Another one that I really like building a major triad on the flat 13, or on the flat, this thing, A flat major triad, so now this gives me sharp nine, okay, D sharp, flat, 13, a flat, and then the route of top See, there's your alter core, right. So typically I look at this as your altered chord, that as your altered chord. So this is an F sharp minor, upper structure triads. This is an A flat major upper structure triad. Notes, here are again, the notes to the left hand are all C, E and B flat, C, E, and B flat in the left hand every time. So the notes here are D flat, F sharp, and a that's the minor triad on the sharp four. One altered voice is another altered voice and this is a flat, a flat, and C or D sharp, a flat, and C because we sharp nine, flat, 13 and my route. Now another great voicing is building it on the 13th build a major triad on the 13th. Like it, this is an A major triad again, second version gives me A and C sharp, right or D flat, this would be a flat 913 chord. Again, this is altered. So anyways, these are some of my favorite upper structure triads below nine. And the sharp four minor build on the sharp four major with an A flat six major built on the sixth major. Okay. So that's a major triad, minor triad, F sharp major triad, A flat major triad, a major triad. Now, 14:12 there's some great lessons on the jazz edge site on upper structure triads, goes through all of those and gives you some more and how to voice them and create them and all of that good stuff. But anyway, those are your altered chords. So altered chords, or dominant chords typically have your nine altered flat nine sharp nine, and then perhaps there might be something going on with 13. A lot of times flat nine and flat 13 go really well together. Flat nine and natural 13 also go quite well together, flat nine and sharp 11 go really well together, sharp nine and sharp 11 go really well together as well. Okay. There's another way of making a upper structure triad, here's just an E flat minor triad root position is B sharp. Nine sharp 11 and my flat seven there again. Alright, so anyway, if you have questions on this if you're a member of jazz edge, be sure to join me every other Thursday for my jazz edge core training and I'd be happy to explain these to you. Be sure to please rate the podcast that would be great if you wouldn't mind leaving a review. In order to leave a review, you have to go on to Apple podcasts or Google podcasts. And then there should be a section it says, rate or review and you can leave a review, I would greatly appreciate that if you take the moment to do that. These podcast episodes come out every Tuesday. And then I also put a video of it not only on the site for members, but then also on YouTube. If you want the sheet music, you need to be a jazz edge member in order to download the sheet music for the podcast. But you're welcome as a YouTube subscriber to watch all of these podcasts and you can see the music right in the screen. Alright, so that's it for me. Thanks guys for joining me and I'll see you in the next podcast episode.

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